Wheelie Bin Storage Sheds

wheelie binAs summer approaches we will find our selves spending more and more time in our gardens. If you’re keen gardener like me you have probably invested a lot of your time and money in creating a wonderful place for you, your family and friends can relax and enjoy the best of the British weather.

No matter how much time or money that we put in to our garden there are some things that will always let your garden down. One of these let downs are your wheelie bins. Every household has at least three wheelie bins, coming in various colours and sizes depending on where you live and the number of people living in your house. No matter what colour the bins are where you live, you cant get away from the fact that they look hideous and make a beautiful garden or patio area look rubbish (pardon the pun).

Over the last few years there has been a boom in sales of wheelie bin storage boxes, which can dramatically …

Stunning Brick BBQ

BRICK BBQ’S – ADD A TOUCH OF CLASS TO YOUR GARDEN

Building a brick BBQ requires planning before you attempt to start. For example where are you going to position it? It needs to be a safe distance from anything flammable and also where smoke won’t fill your neighbours garden or home.

Once you have decided on a spot you need to decide on your dimensions. The dimensions of your grill set, which you will need to buy first, will decide this. Ensure you have space for the grill set and the width your BBQ will need to be to accommodate it. To get the width of the BBQ place the grill set on the ground and place bricks around it in what will be their fixed position.

If the ground is soft where you are building your BBQ then you will need to dig out a small trench approximately 25cm wide and 30cm deep. This can then be filled with concrete to form a solid foundation. Try to get this as level as possible. Leave this to harden for a couple of days before you start to lay your first course of …

Cleaning Windows Correctly

Cleaning windows is easy right? Well in theory yes, however simply just cleaning with a hose or bucket will leave water spots on your windows. This happens when your water supply is running “hard water” which simply put is formed when the water travels through deposits made up of calcium and magnesium carbonates. Commercial window cleaners – The Window Cleaning Company provided us with the following tips when cleaning your windows:

  1. If using household tap water to clean your windows, just a tiny drop of fair washing up liquid in the bucket. Then wash your windows and dry off the streaks with a squeegee.

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Garden Water Feature

GARDEN WATER FEATURES

When it comes to garden water features the sky is the limit and only your imagination will limit the outcomes. There are so many options to choose from such as the simplistic bird baths, the majestic koi fish ponds, elegant fountains, calming reflecting pools and even man made streams and water gardens.

For the smaller garden water features such as trickling natural stone, resin towers and LED lit mini fountains are always a good option. You could even have a small fish pond sunk into your garden and built up from the ground.

Larger gardens on the other hand are ideal for really putting your imagination to work. Imagine a water feature gently trickling water into a bubbling stream that works its way into a water garden filled with aquatic plants. This in turn could lead to a further stream winding its way into a pond full of magnificent Koi carp or goldfish.

Alternatively you could install an increasingly popular water feature that can be adapted and look beautiful in small and large gardens alike. In fact it can even make smaller gardens look bigger. The reflecting pool on the principle …

Garden Lights – Brighten up your garden

It may be hard to believe but public landscapes and gardens have been lit up for just as long as the interior of houses and buildings have been. This could be for various reasons such as security, circulation and social occasions and ways to do this have included firelight from wood, candles and animal / plant oil fuels in torches, sconces and lanterns. It has only been since the 19th (gas) and 20th (electric) century that lighting has become a design feature as well as functional.

Electricity is now the most common and popular way to light up gardens although solar power is quickly catching it up. Rechargeable battery lighting is also available but nowhere near as common or as popular.

Garden lighting is also not as simple as putting up a porch light anymore. More and more people are now looking for more and manufacturers have certainly given them it. Different ways to light your garden include wall lights, fence lights, strings of lights, lights installed into the ground and even water feature lighting and underwater lighting.

Some garden lighting needs to be switched on at night and others are light sensitive or motion …

Dealing with Garden Waste

How to deal with garden waste

During the summer most gardeners will be adding to their compost bins leaving them with a lovely crumbly compost to put on their flower beds in autumn. Composting is a beautiful simple system that puts back what we take out of the earth. However not all waste is simple or can be simply put into your compost bin.

Garden waste such as roots of couch grass and bindweed cannot simply be put into your compost bin and not everyone has the means to dispose of this properly, such as a wood chipper. So what do you do? Put it in your green council waste bin? Burn it on a bonfire or stack it up and take it to the tip? Well, you can do all these things but if you want to be green and put the nutrients from this waste back into the earth, they are not the answer.

The simple answer is to drown them, yes take your perennial weeds, couch grass, bind weed and put it all in a bin full of water! Eventually this will rot down into a compostable mulch. This you …

Hanging Baskets – Great for gardens with limited space

Hanging baskets are the ideal way to provide some colour and beauty at eye level. They can be bought to hang on walls, kind of a half-moon shape or hung on hooks, a full moon shape.

What you plant on them will depend on what you are looking to achieve. For example if you want a long term basket you should use herbs, shrubs and evergreens. Alternatively a short term basket should contain vibrant bedding plants such as creeping jenny, silver falls, fuchsias, lobelias, violas, petunias in summer and crocus, iris, ivy, primulas, cyclamen and violas in winter.

Baskets for summer should be planted from April onwards but will need frost protection until the end of May. Winter baskets which do not need protection as the plants are hardier should be done between September and October.

How they should be planted will depend on what type of basket you have bought. Standard wire baskets for example require a lining which you can buy readymade. A more thrifty option would be to line them with moss. This method can also be more attractive and natural looking.

Multi-purpose composts are usually sufficient for most baskets as …

Rattan Planters – Visually improves any garden

This is a fantastic time of the year to be picking up garden bargains, as most companies will be selling their summer stock off at knocked down prices. This means you can pick some fantastic bargains up ready for next summer!

One of the easiest ways to improve the look of your garden, patio or decking area is to include some bright strong scented flowers that will attract butterflies and other nature to your garden. If you don’t have a rockery or planting area worry not, there has been a massive increase in the amount of planters on the market over the last several years. This means you can literally pick up a bargain and create a beautiful planting area without having to do too much work.

With planters coming in all shapes, sizes and materials there is something for everyone. And if you are feeling creative there are loads (AND I MEAN LOADS) of ideas on the Internet for you to create your own planters out of brick, breezeblock or even wood. I’ve made some fantastic planters out of decking wood lately and they look pretty amazing, even if I do …

Growing Mushrooms

Growing Mushrooms

Mushrooms are typically grown indoors and not in the garden quite often using mushroom growing kits. It is however possible to grow mushrooms with your own set up in your own area.

First you need to pick a mushroom to grow, popular choices being shiitake, oyster and white button. First you will need to buy spore or spawn of your chosen mushroom from a reputable dealer. Think of these spore as seeds and spawn as seedlings. Spawn is easier to grow than spore and this may be the best thing to start with for a beginner.

Mushrooms require a cool, dark place to grow that is also damp but first you should place your growing medium in a pan and raise the temperature to about 70 degrees Fahrenheit. Heating pads work well for this. After the temperature has been reached you should then move your spawn onto the growing medium for your particular mushroom. This could be hardwood, sawdust straw or composted manure. Place the mushroom spawn back on to the heating pad but drop the temperature to about 55 degrees Fahrenheit.

Next you should cover the spawn with an inch or …

Garden Gazebos

Garden gazebos are tent like garden features that can be constructed of wood, rattan, metal and plastic. You can buy them from garden centres, hardware stores, online stores and they come in various sizes, styles and materials.

Gazebo is a flippant translation from the Latin ‘I will gaze’ and is used to describe a building or structure from which one may enjoy a view over the garden. The original gazebos required an elevated position in order to achieve ‘proper gazing’ and became known as buildings that were placed on natural vantage points. Nowadays of course gazebos are not necessarily placed on a vantage point, nor are they always used for viewing.

Gazebos became especially popular in Elizabethan times when they were used to show off splendid private enclosed gardens to their friends. The buildings themselves were also created to be ornate and show worthy in their own right.

Many public parks have gazebos although they are more commonly known as bandstands due to bands playing there. They are however essentially gazebos and have been used as a place to entertain and banquet for centuries.

Nowadays gazebos, especially those that can be transported are more …

Growing Tomatoes

Growing Tomatoes

Growing tomatoes from seed is easy and there is a huge range of varieties out there to choose from which can be grown indoors and outdoors, in containers and hanging baskets. Their only real requirements are heat, sun, food and water to produce sweet and juicy fruits.

When sowing seeds start by filling pots with compost and water then scatter seeds thinly and cover with a thin layer of vermiculite. Label your pots and then place them on a windowsill to germinate. You should see results within two weeks when seedlings will appear and by eight weeks they should be large enough to repot.

When repotting hold the seedlings by the leaves and gently lever them upwards. Make a hole in the new pot, fill with compost and gently lower the plant into the pot. Firm the plant down making sure the roots are covered and the plant is watered. When roots come through the pots move them into bigger ones.

When the first branch of flowers appear on your plants it is time to replant them into grow bags. You should prepare the grow bags by shaking them up and kneading …